2008

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I recently read an interview where celebrities spoke of their plans for the New Years. One of them (I just cannot seem to remember who) had said that he does not believe in celebrating New Years because he felt it was a western concept and is hyped up in India by greeting card companies to promote sales.

He went on to say that our regional cultures have their own New Years according to their respective calendars and he likes to celebrate that in the traditional way.

Point taken, but I do have something to say in defence of the rest of the masses who like celebrating the New years the western way.

While I agree with him that its a bit too much for us to celebrate mothers’ day, fathers’ day, brothers’ day & sisters’ day over here, I see no harm in celebrating New Years.

Come on, we’re talking about coming together of all cultures in a global village!

We’re no longer cut off from various other cultures across the world, thanks to our tecnological advancements. And what’s wrong in joining the rest of the world in celebrating the birth of a New Year according to the most popular calendar in the world?

There’s a lot of happiness and goodwill going around the world and we’re just joining the band wagon to feel some of the cheer.

We do celebrate New Year according to our own culture too. But I must say our celebrations are subdued compared to this. What exactly do we do on a Tamil New year or Ugadhi? Make payasam, go to the temple, eat bitter-sweet pachchidi and get on with our lives. So why can’t we do that and have a more boisterous New Year on Dec 31st as well?

These days its all about being open to good ideas from other cultures. Its totally hypocritical to look down on something, just because it was not in our culture before.

If the so-called culture police is so against western stuff, why do they take off on Sundays? The weekend concept is western. In traditional Indian culture, people rested on Tuesdays, since its inauspicious to do any work that day.

Why don’t they stick to Veshtis instead of trousers and shirts?

These are the days of restaurants serving Chinese, Lebonese and Italian food along side authentic chettinad fare.

We have multiplexes, food-courts and shopping malls which are as good as any we can find abroad.

But we still value our culture and observe all our traditional practices.

My point is they adapt western ways when its convenient to them. But all of a sudden they go gung-ho opposing something as harmless as having fun in on the New Years day!

And for the greeting card manufacturers, most of them are hitting rock-bottom, thanks to the e-cards and group sms-es!!!

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6 Comments

  1. Lakshmi said,

    January 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    The last few new years spent in india, I remember going to Vivek and Co or forget-name place to get their new year’s specials… luggage, wet grinder, iron box.. one/two things a year.
    The northies in US get gold on new year’s.. wonder if the price of gold made them abandon this year.. We didn’t go partying.. but spent a quiet evening with the kids watching a movie, watching fox news to see the ball drop, opening up a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling cider and talking to my mom/sisters on the phone.. all at once approaching midnite!
    I feel indian culture is evolving really fast in India.. no point denying it.

  2. Rekha said,

    January 2, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Haha.. Well I totally agree with you. Lets face it, the relevance of the Tamil calendar is pretty much limited to celebrating star birthdays, looking up rahu kalam and yama gandam and celebrating a bunch of festivals including the Tamil new year. But then, we start working on Monday, have days off on Saturday and Sunday, get our pay checks the start of every English month, remeber our kid’s birthdays by the English calendar (Imagining telling my daughter.. umm.. your birthday comes on the day that Krithika nakshatram occurs in the Masi maasam, so I am not quite sure when). For things that matter the most, we follow the English calendar – no harm celebrating the first day of the English year if you ask me.

  3. maami said,

    January 2, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I’m sure that pug faced celebrity was most drunk on New Year’s Eve. Or else he sat alone, bored and smug in a room watching the Tamil telly programme where some pansy shimmied in a garish skirt squealing, “appy niew ear neyargale” .

  4. 10yearslate said,

    January 2, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I usually volunteer at the local temple when they have Soora-samharams, shankhabhishekams etc on the appropriate lunar calendar days, however this time when the call came for a midnight arathi on 31 Dec and a ‘special’ puja on 1 Jan, I declined on principle.

    I see this as the temples cashing in.

  5. padmajav said,

    January 5, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Laksmi,
    In terms of what you mentioned, Chennai hasn’t changed that drastically. Viveks & others still have thier annual sales on new years day. But I’m sure the crowd is 100 times more now!!
    Rekha,
    I’m not sure when my star birthday is, let alone my son’s! But I still have friends who faithfully go tothe temple on their start birthdays!
    Maami,
    I’m still trying to recall the celebrity! But unsuccessful!! So we still can’t put a face to him!
    10yearslate,
    kudos to u for volunteering in temples. I can never imagine myself doing that! I guess I’m the type who runs to the temple only at times of crisis!!

  6. anush said,

    May 5, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Now do we need reasons to celebrate? One more event to make memories why would you want to put it down?


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